Now you don’t have to rely on Siri to open your HomeKit-compatible smart lock. Schlage’s Encode Plus just launched with support for Apple’s Home Key feature in iOS 15, which means you can tap your iPhone or Apple Watch to your lock to open it.
The Encode Plus was finally launched at CES 2022 after an errant Home Depot product listing last month tipped the company’s hand. Schlage’s Home Key integration lets you unlock the door by simply holding your iPhone or Apple Watch near the lock. You can choose to require Face ID, Touch ID, or a passcode on your iPhone to add an extra layer of security. The lock will also support Power Reserve, so even if your iPhone is out of battery, you’ll be able to tap to unlock for up to five hours after losing charge. Home Key has some restrictions, namely that you need an iPhone XR or newer running iOS 15 and an Apple Watch Series 4 or newer.
In addition to Apple HomeKit, the Encode Plus works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa’s voice commands. And if the Schlage Encode Plus is connected through an Apple home hub, like the HomePod Mini, you can use Siri to control your lock away from home. If you like the option, the lock uses a physical key as a backup, but its primary input is a number pad.
The Encode Plus will be one of the first devices to seek Matter compatibility, which has become the smart home trend to watch this year. Matter will make it easier for more devices from different connected ecosystems to link together under one roof. The lock will have Thread built into it, one of the specifications required for Matter.
It’s been slim pickings out there for smart locks if you’re all in with HomeKit, so it’s nice to see Schlage give users more than the few smart lock offerings currently available.
The Encode Plus comes in a few different finishes, including an aged bronze version and matte black, when it goes on sale this spring for $300.